I’ve recently stopped using Apple Music as my default streaming service.

It happened completely by accident.

However, some readers have suggested that this might not be a coincidence and could, in fact, be linked to the recent experiment I’ve embarked on where I’m ditching my iPhone and Apple Watch for an entire month.

It genuinely isn’t. Apple has simply fallen short on music streaming for me, and it has taken nothing more than curiosity to expose those shortcomings.

But this touches on something that has been bothering me for a while.

You see, I don’t understand the ‘platform wars’ – and Intel’s recent Apple-bashing ads have forced me to pick up the digital pen and write.

I don’t care, Justin

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks, Intel’s latest ads feature Justin Long (the guy from the “I’m a Mac” ads) wandering around a room full of laptops picking fun at the M1 lineup of Macs.

That’s it; there’s nothing more to them. It’s playground tit-for-tat, and it is immeasurably boring.

Sure, there’s some serious angst on display here from Intel. The M1 chip has clearly rocked the boardroom boat in Santa Clara, and their attempted rebuke is bum-clenchingly cringeworthy.

But when all is said and done – who cares?

Intel makes chips. Apple makes chips, computers and a whole lot more besides. They both have a place in the market and within the minds of their respective fan clubs.

And that’s where the trouble starts.

I’m not an Apple ‘fanboy’, ‘fapple’ or ‘sheep’

It always makes me smile when I’m labelled one of the above. I love most of Apple’s products, but I’m equally mindful of the fact that they completely screw up – regularly.

Sometimes, it’s an amusing mis-step (the fact you have to turn the Magic Mouse upside down to charge it, or the AirPods Max case). But, sometimes, it reveals a rather unpalatable side of the Cupertino giant.

I invest in Apple stuff because I enjoy using it, and I love their approach to design (95% of the time). I don’t – and never have – bought their stuff because I have some kind of football-like undying loyalty to the brand. Nor do I hate competing brands. In fact, I don’t know how it’s possible to hate inanimate objects.

Apart from that auxiliary cable, of course.

You may be thinking “one doth protest too much, Mark”, and, indeed, this article will probably result in a few comments from people who think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.

Come on, Mark, just admit you’re an Apple fanboy.

But I’ve always been interested in all tech, and I’ve never taken sides because I don’t understand the benefit of doing so. Maybe it actually fosters more intense competition between brands – and that can only be a good thing – but my fear is that it does little more than incite needless trolling online.

Oh, and ‘fapple’ is by far one of my new favourite words. So, thanks to whoever called me that recently on YouTube.

Back to the iPhone and Apple Watch experiment

I thought I was all-in on the iPhone. But, in truth, that device has become pretty dull over the years.

Despite being drawn back to it whenever I test an Android device, in the short time I’ve made a semi-permanent switch to the Pixel 4a I’ve realised that I probably could live quite happily with a non-Apple smartphone.

But it’s the Apple Watch that has, so far, been the most fascinating absence from my daily life.

I’ve worn one every single day since launch, therefore the Casio G-Shock that’s currently wrapped around my left arm is the first non-Apple watch to occupy that coveted space in over six years.

I don’t miss the Apple Watch one bit. If there’s ever a case of using something purely out of habit rather than for any discernible benefit, it’s my relationship with the Apple Watch. I’m genuinely not sure what I was using it for, having completely stopped paying any attention to the fitness metrics on which I used to base the perceived effort of my daily routines.

Curiosity encouraged me to try this experiment. It has revealed that I don’t really have any form of brand loyalty – and I think that’s a very good thing indeed.

Will I return to the iPhone? Probably, but I’ll save the reason for that for another article.

Will I return to the Apple Watch full time? Probably not. And that excites me.

Let’s all just get along, shall we?

I’m all for a bit of tongue-in-cheek banter when it comes to tech. Intel’s Justin Long adverts had the opportunity to do just that, but failed miserably. All that was needed was a dose of unique humour and that is sadly lacking; it just comes across as desperation.

Desperation isn’t funny.

Healthy competition in tech is absolutely vital. It’s what drives innovation and gives us all a wealth of really exciting stuff to play with, make stuff on and with which to push the world forward.

I enjoy having a laugh with the people who think I’m solidly batting for Team Apple, but as my channel and audience grows, I suspect that it might become a little tiresome. Because, when all is said and done, I’d rather we were all a little more open-minded about tech.

Main image courtesy of adage.com